A re-watch of Joss Whedon's series Dollhouse! Siblings and long term Whedonverse fans Gemma and Rowan discuss their viewing of Dollhouse which began in 2010 ish and continued during many moves to different countries and across many years and formats with the elusive second season still eluding them. Can they reach the end of the series? Can you? Will we ever find out what is in the tea? Or whether Topher lives in the Dollhouse full time? Listen to our discussion of this noughties Eliza Dushku, Olivia Williams and Fran Kranz extravaganza to find out. Contact us at email@example.com
Episode 12: We're gonna stick her in a wedge
Welcome Listener! We are on episode 12, the penultimate (or last really, depending on your view) episode of the first season of Dollhouse - Omega.
In this episode we have multiple personalities and delight in Alan Tudyk gollumming and Frankensteining around manically. We learn that the dolls have GPS strips in their necks like puppies. We wonder does Topher actually like the Prodigy or did he just find the t-shirt in a thrift store? Does he even go to gigs? When was the last time he got out in the fresh air and socialised? Is Lars actually still having fun in his Tarrantino fantasy? Did he forget his safe word? Just what is residual noise and what is Topher doing with that multimeter? Probably Rowan knows the answer to this better than Gemma who is very lost. Alpha chockablocks around on his bank of improbable computers and for those uninitiated this is the 80s classic Chockablock - https://youtu.be/jnWcm5dr45s
Is Alpha playing dumb with the handler and why don't they notice him just standing in the middle of the room for ages glaring at people? What the hell do Sierra and November do once they are programmed and then never seen again in the episode? Who is the most scary, the scientist or the muscle? Why is it pronounced San Peeedro and why are they not all vitamin D deficient when living in the dingy Dollhouse? Do Dr. Scar and Toph have a past? Why did he make her so that she would hate him? How great would it be if Faith Lehane was in the series of flashbacks Echo has? (Answer, pretty great). What the hell is a scissor pud and most importantly...what's in the tea?!
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Episode 11: Just because we can move forward, must we?
Wellllll, hello listener! Welcome to epsiode 11 of Dollhouse - Briar Rose. In this ep we are absolutely overwhelmed with sub plots and storylines, moles within moles! The one with the big reveal!
We wonder what the difference between Briar Rose and Sleeping Beauty is and confuse ourselves with fairy tale plot lines. We try to keep up with the many layers and metaphors going on. We feel sorry for the writers who put in a whole b-plot that must have been edited out - links to screenshots of newspaper articles about the body found in the cold open - https://rwec.co.uk/witt/briar-rose.html
We are uncomfortable with Dullard and wonder if we are meant to be. We learn what a stair riser is and that we too are afraid of stairs with them missing. We also learn who Paul Bunyan is, but why the blue ox? Why was this whole bit put in if it was not really referred to again? Who was the man in the dumpster? Why doesn't Dullard care about the other dolls, is it because he just doesn't fancy them? Who wouldn't fancy Victor?! Who sent the encrypted thumb drive to First Name Last Name? What exactly does happen to people in the attic? Is Alpha toying with all of them? And most importantly, where is Judith with that tea?
Episode 10: I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, you're dead.
Welcome to episode 10 of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse - Haunted. The one with the horses and the characters we don't care about, the oedipal stuff, Topher being cute on his birthday, Eliza hamming it up and a return of the elusive tea deliverer Judith.
We discuss the anterior interior cortex (or rather Rowan does) and enjoy Dichen Lachman as always but Gemma is not a fan of Topher's cardigan in this one. We continue to hate the Mellie/Dullard dynamic which reaches a gross climax (pun intended) in this episode which troubles us. Gemma is impressed and horrified by whiskey drinking acting and horse rearing in that order.
We ask, why Margaret is wearing kitten heels alone in her bedroom, why Dullard has to bag a wine glass, couldn't he just have got some of her hair for goodness sake? Does Topher live in the Dollhouse? If so, why? Why aren't people recognising the dolls if so many people are using them in L.A.? What is the timing of the denouement? Why is she horse riding in the middle of the night and why are the rest of them up as well? Does Joss have body dysmorphia? Does he fit the plot around trying to get Tahmoh Penikett naked? How hard can it be to find the gorram Dollhouse anyway and what would you do if you went back as another person to solve your own murder? It probably wouldn't be, hey, I just found a letter that predicted I was going to die and planting a weird rewriting of your own will that can't be explained.
Finally, how DO you access the Dollhouse? Is it like Deliveroo?
Phew, enjoy Haunted and find us on email@example.com
Episode 9: Elementary Dear Echo
Welcome to Episode 9, A Spy in the House of Love, of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse starring Oliva Williams, Dichen Lachman and the lovely Fran Kranz oh and Eliza Dushku might be there wearing some leather.
In this episode, there's a mole somewhere in the Dollhouse! Topher finds a chip and is freaking out! This is the one with Woger and Oliva in a smoking hot fencing outfit and where First Name Last Name gets sent to the attic. Eek.
We wonder what Amy Acker (whose character name I still haven't solidified in my mind) really thinks about the Dollhouse and why she is there. Why Topher opens up to Echo in the first place and where Boyd's morals lie (it's complicated says Joss, probably).
On this weeks TV tropes watch we wonder if anyone really has a wall with string irl (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StringTheory here's the TV tropes link if anyone wanted it, they call it String Theory). Other tropes include 'just one more thing' detective work and windows that smash satisfyingly into neat knife like shards to be used as weapons. Topher's sweater is probably itchy and he is clearly bewildered by the idea of a girl liking him (gay gay gay) but it's ok, he's in neuroplastic heaven. We wonder how the doll's don't remember waking up in the house and how Mellie's hypnotism is triggered; by the buttons on Dullard's shirt?
We imagine actually being on a train and someone sitting next to you who is dressed as you down to the last detail. HOW DID SHE KNOW WHAT THE WOMAN WOULD BE WEARING? Finally, did Echo plant the chip revealing the spy to get rid of First Name Last Name? Are Boyd and Topher et al given counselling after this horrific event? Are they all just really messed up? Phew, we definitely need some of that tea.
Send us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org on your thoughts on A Spy In the House of Love.
Episode 8: Grow a belly, sew a quilt
In which the dolls wake up in their coffin beds and somehow have no memory of why they are there and Amy Acker decides to 'let the tide wash in' to give them all closure so that they settle down. Mike does a bad job of small talk at pancakes and Echo keeps looking at the cameras. Victor and Sierra are cute and we love them and Boyd is cuddly as always.
We wonder why Victor's 'civilian' clothes include a thong and what was Mike's closure about and why was he there anyway? What is the mountain that Echo keeps harping on about and what do they do when they get to Z (Zulu?) in the phonetic alphabet, do they move to numbers like The Prisoner?
We learn that Mellie had a dead daughter and Dullard is ridiculously stupid when it comes to bugs - why doesn't he put it in a crisp packet?! All the dolls conveniently have closure at the same time like a fairy tale and Topher is afraid of the dark. Olivia has good arms and good rhetoric and Topher says it best when he says 'I can advance the proteins corrosion of long term potentiation'. You can advance our proteins any day Toph and we'll protect you from the dark even if you are mostly sociopathic.
Welcome to Episode 8, Needs. Send us a line to say anything (nice things) at email@example.com
Episode 7: Drawer of inappropriate starches
We discuss episode 7 and read our correspondence of 10 years ago after watching this episode in different countries. Ah, the memories.
In the episode, DeWitt and Topher get high and we love it, we learn that Caroline was an animal rights activist with a soppy boyfriend and we don't love it, the Rossum Corporation are somehow connected to the Dollhouse (and robots) and have produced a yellow drug of indeterminable usage which makes everyone high. Boyd knocks someone out and Mellie leaves and we see a more human side to First Name Last Name.
Some questions that will never be answered; does anyone ever actually have those blueprints of buildings when conducting a heist? Does DeWitt believe she is doing good work? Does Mellie have a fake job? Is Whedon a Pratchett fan? How does Boyd get away with wondering around knocking people out and shooting people every episode? Who wants this drug anyway and what would they use it for?!
Enjoy episode 7 of Dollhouse ramble recap - Echoes.